Despite the challenges that COVID-19 brought to Singapore, it is still one of the fastest countries to adopt online shopping. Statista even ran a forecast and Singapore’s ecommerce industry is projected to reach US$7,293 million this year and would grow by 16.22% by 2025, which is equivalent to US$11,448 million.
With these figures, it is safe to say that the country will stay as one of the most attractive ecommerce markets in Asia and achieve its aim of being the leading ecommerce hub. That is why those businesses who transition to ecommerce and apply search engine optimisation (SEO) strategies in Singapore will get the most out of the ecommerce growth.
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What Makes Singapore an Ecommerce Hub
Whether buying in person or online, shopping, in particular—is a favourite pastime among Singaporeans. A 2014 study by Visa indicated that 26% of Singaporeans shop online at least once a week, which makes Singapore one of the top online shoppers in Southeast Asia. There is no gender bias among online shoppers: men and women engage in ecommerce equally except for those aged 45-54, where there are 55% more female buyers than males.
Below are some other key findings of ecommerce in Singapore.
- The number of mobile users continues to rise in Singapore
Even though shopping via mobile services already existed before the COVID-19 pandemic, the number of mobile shoppers has dramatically increased over the past two years. According to BusinessofApps, around 66% of shoppers in Singapore are using mobile devices for research for in-store and online purchases.
That percentage grew due to 31% of Singaporeans shopping online for the first time during the COVID-19 pandemic via mobile applications and websites. The same study also mentioned that this shift in consumer behaviour will stay after the health crisis ends.
- Singaporeans will continue shopping more online even after pandemic
During the peak of the pandemic in Singapore, many consumers realised the convenience of online shopping. Apart from finding deals easier than in physical stores, online shopping keeps customers safe from virus transmission.
With social distancing measures certain to remain in place for the foreseeable future, physical store foot traffic in this “new normal” will be lower than before the COVID-19 pandemic since more consumers are shopping from the comfort of their homes.
- Credit card is the most offered payment in Singapore
All retailers in Singapore offer credit cards as a payment method. Given the high emphasis placed on cashless payment, it is not surprising that bank transfers as a mode of payment fall far behind in the second spot, being offered only by 38% of retailers.
These findings further prove that the ecommerce industry in Singapore offers a large base of potential customers to market online, and it is up to you to tap onto this potential.
Establishing an online presence for your small business may seem challenging as you may face hurdles like limited resources, time, and lack of experience. Partnering with third-party SEO vendors and digital marketing agencies in Singapore can address those concerns, which is why they are invaluable to business success.
If you are setting up an ecommerce shop in Singapore, this in-depth guide can help you get started.
Part I: What is Ecommerce SEO?
An ecommerce website that allows you to expand your reach online. As shoppers prefer convenient and time-saving shopping, your customers will appreciate having the ability to browse your ecommerce website 24/7 and have their purchases delivered to their doorstep.
However, maintaining an online presence can be very challenging. After launching an ecommerce website, you have to work hard to make sure that it is visible to your target audience. Also, guarantee that it primarily entails optimising your ecommerce website for search, constantly introducing new products, and coming up with new promotions to give your customers reasons to visit regularly.
All these take time and resources, and this is when an SEO agency in Singapore takes over. The SEO agency of your choice will help you, from setting up your online store to marketing and management so you can focus on your core business.
Why Should You Do SEO For Your E-Commerce Website?
If you want to drive more traffic and sales to your ecommerce website, then ecommerce SEO is a critical part of your digital marketing strategy.
By definition, ecommerce SEO is the process of optimising your ecommerce website for search engines like Google, Yahoo!, or Bing to boost your opportunities to rise in organic rankings and drive more traffic to your ecommerce website. When people search for products or services related to your brand online, you want to rank as high as possible in the search engine results pages (SERPs), so they will find your ecommerce website much faster.
Even though there are plenty of ways to attract customers to your ecommerce website other than ecommerce SEO: pay-per-click (PPC) advertising, email marketing, word-of-mouth, and social media platforms, to name a few. However, there is nothing quite like ecommerce SEO in terms of delivering results in the long run.
A study carried out by Nielsen and GroupM UK found that organic results account for 94% of total search engine clicks, while paid search advertisements only have 6% of total clicks. It is supported by another research that shows 70-80% of all searchers ignore paid ads and instead click on organic results.
With the growing competition in the ecommerce industry, one way to get ahead of the game is to work your way up through SEO. While it will take time to reach the top spot, a robust ecommerce SEO strategy in Singapore can eventually build your search engine rankings until you are the first option that users see in their searches.
Part II: What Happens in Ecommerce SEO?
Ecommerce SEO involves a range of practices whose objective is to boost your rankings in the search results. But, as a start, you should optimise your headlines, product descriptions, metadata, links, and navigational structures to guarantee quality search and a good user experience.
Each product you have should have a dedicated page designed to drive traffic from search engines. Additionally, there should be static, non-product-oriented pages on your ecommerce website, including the following:
What is excellent about ecommerce SEO is that it allows you to keep track of your audience’s behaviour and use these insights to customise your offers in a manner that accommodates their needs. In return, it can help you build long-lasting relationships with them and improve customer retention.
There are several aspects involved in ecommerce SEO, and the easiest route is to rely on an SEO agency in Singapore that will oversee your ecommerce website from the very beginning. Below are some SEO best practices that can help you boost your organic rankings.
How To Optimise Your Ecommerce Website
When it comes to SEO, the two most important goals are to build an online presence and increase your search engine rankings. The higher the traffic coming to your ecommerce website, the higher your chances of getting more sales.
The SEO for ecommerce websites, on the other hand, is a little different than SEO for regular websites. When optimising your ecommerce website, there are a few crucial areas to consider, which you will learn as you keep reading.
The coding of your web page and the factors involved in your ecommerce website can affect your search engine rankings. For instance, inserting relevant keywords into your product descriptions, URLs, titles, and image alt tags can optimise your page for searches, which increases the chances of search bots finding your page and showing them in the search results.
Google values the proper order and arrangement of content on your web pages, including titles, headers, content, footers, etc. The faster and easier it is for Google’s bot to crawl, the higher the possibilities are to boost your position and sales. Make sure to place valuable and relevant keywords in these places to make it easier for search engines to identify your page.
Ecommerce websites, like any other type of website, require high-quality content. It can set your ecommerce website apart from the competition by providing relevant information to your consumers. Your standard in-page content should have product photos, product descriptions, blogs, and newsletters, to name a few.
A compelling product description that seamlessly integrates keywords offers benefits beyond just SEO. It provides customers with details about the product’s features, problems it solves, and other benefits, which can help you generate a sale. Be sure to optimise everything on the product, from the titles to the descriptions, making it brief and concise as much as possible.
Traditional blog posts can also attract more visitors to your ecommerce website. Theycan discuss topics related to your products, giving a new perspective on how they can add value to their lives and solve their problems. Just make sure that these articles will direct them to your specific products or services by linking the URL where you are offering them.
Links are also a great addition to your ecommerce website. Internal links, for instance, add relevance between web pages, which gives more context to your consumers and directs them to the proper pages they are searching for. Likewise, getting external backlinks from other websites can further establish your authority.
Tech-savvy consumers do not just shop for products in exchange for cash. They look for brands that can provide them with seamless and personalised experiences. It does not matter if you are a bootstrapped startup or an international firm—you need SEO to maximise your ecommerce website’s profitability.
What happens when users visit your ecommerce website? Will they easily find the information they are looking for? Does the ecommerce website load quickly? Is it accessible from any device? Your ecommerce website can be many things, but the most crucial things are that it should be easy to navigate and have user-friendly features to ensure visitors stay longer and, hopefully, purchase your products and services.
5 Mistakes to Avoid in Ecommerce SEO
Is ecommerce SEO difficult? Not necessarily.
However, it can be easy to make costly mistakes that can negatively affect your search engine rankings if you have no idea what to do. They often happen when you do not work with an SEO agency in Singapore that can help identify and rectify these errors, if not
Below are some common ecommerce SEO mistakes:
How fast does it take for your web pages to load? If it takes longer than 3 seconds, then visitors are most likely to abandon your ecommerce website. A Google study shows that the bounce rate increases by 32% if a web page loads within 1 to 3 seconds.
By now, you should start making adjustments to meet these demands. The first thing you will have to do is identify what is slowing your ecommerce website. There are three possible culprits:
Large-Sized Images – While images make your ecommerce website look visually appealing, using photos with huge bytes can hurt your website speed. Resize your images to between 600 and 800 pixels.
Redirect Chains – Multiple redirects can not only result in slow-loading pages but can also annoy your visitors. Enhance your user experience by reducing the use of redirects.
Ecommerce Platform – There are many ecommerce platforms available, with Shopify and WordPress arguably being the most popular. But when choosing one for your business, make sure it supports fast site loading so your visitors will not have to wait long.
READ MORE: Which E-Commerce Platforms to Choose?
Many factors are categorised as low-quality content:
- Product descriptions are copied from other ecommerce websites.
- Category pages without meta descriptions.
- Meta descriptions that are not optimised.
- Readers can barely understand the content of the article.
Your content matters not only for SEO but to your potential customers as well. If you have poorly written content on your ecommerce website, they may not be as keen to interact with your ecommerce website, which can increase your traffic but plummet your possible conversions. Therefore, creating original, fully optimised, and relevant content should be your top priority.
Duplicate content happens when you have different URLs with the same content on your ecommerce website. It can happen when you have plenty of product variations, and search engines can flag these as duplicate content.
While it may not affect your overall ecommerce website, what Google will most likely do is accept only one of these links and de-index the rest. To rectify this, your SEO agency will select a single web page that you want the search engine to rank and make it your canonical URL.
ALSO READ: The Dangers Of Duplicate Content For SEO
Mobile traffic increases every year. In the first quarter of 2022, mobile devices accounted for 77.49% of global website traffic. Since Google favours mobile-friendly sites in organic search rankings, it is wise to optimise your ecommerce website for mobile searches.
One characteristic of a mobile-friendly site includes responsiveness. It is about your page having the ability to be visible regardless of the screen the users are using to display your products and services. In that case, use the Google mobile-friendly test to measure the mobile-friendliness of your site.
This GIF shows the different types of web pages that a responsive web design possesses so viewers can view the platform regardless of the screen size of the devices they are using.
No Product Reviews
About 93% of consumers tend to read product reviews before making a purchase, but what is a good number of reviews? According to Reevoo, having at least 50 reviews per product can increase conversion rates by 4.6%, and search engines love them too. Also, 91% of customers between 18 to 24 years old trust online reviews rather than word of mouth.
Ecommerce websites with more reviews can rank better because consumers determine these as more trustworthy. A search on Google will reveal product pages with star ratings and reviews—when you have these, outranking your competitors selling the same items will not be a problem.
Many other factors can affect your search engine rankings, and your chosen SEO agency can help you avoid these mistakes to make your online store a success.
Part III: In-House vs SEO Agency: Who Should Do the Job?
Several SEO agencies in Singapore have earned a reputation for providing quality service and delivering long-term results.
But why exactly should you hire an SEO agency for your ecommerce website?
While you may know the basics of SEO or have been self-learning the topic for quite some time, you may not have enough experience and skills to put the theories into practice. This practical part is where it makes a difference.
Remember, the success of your business should not be based on trial and error and hiring an ecommerce SEO agency is often the most advantageous idea to maximise your investment.
One way to accelerate the digitalisation and optimisation of your ecommerce website is by providing sufficient support to implement all ecommerce SEO strategies mentioned—that is where the Productivity Solutions Grant (PSG) for ecommerce solutions comes in.
The PSG grant for ecommerce solutions is funding support established and provided by the government to encourage businesses to transition to ecommerce and embrace digitalisation.
What an SEO Agency Can Do For You
At OOm, we help our clients boost their search engine rankings, increase traffic, and improve conversions while lowering their SEO and digital marketing expenses.
Here are the ecommerce benefits that an SEO agency can do for you:
Working with an ecommerce SEO agency is a smart decision as you not only let someone with the right expertise handle your rankings, but you also have more time to focus on your core activities.
This is particularly essential in our current situation when more and more people are turning to online shopping as a safer alternative to going to malls and grocery stores. Maintaining an online presence can get you in front of these consumers.
Are you ready to get started with your ecommerce SEO? Get in touch with one of our SEO specialists today! Contact OOm at 6391-0930 or leave us a message on our website to let us know how we can help you with your ecommerce website.